Blog spotlight: Helping new graduate nurses over transition shock: Part 1: The "doing" stage

Nurse Leader Insider, June 27, 2011

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It's the time of year when hospitals are welcoming new graduate nurses to their units and nurse managers are preparing to help these new nurses make the difficult transition from nursing school to nursing practice.

Kendra Varner, MSN, RN, nurse residency program coordinator for the Kettering Health Network in Dayton, OH, wrote in the book
Nurse Residency Program Builder, that new nurses go through many experiences as they transition to become competent nurses. In the first part of a three part series, Varner describes the first stage.

Judy Duchscher elaborated on the concept of new graduate nurse shock by describing the transition process as a nonlinear "Process of Becoming" a nurse (Duchscher, 2008). This process has three stages: doing, being, and knowing. Graduate nurses' transition begins with the "doing" stage and orientation to the role.

In this stage, graduate nurses can experience a wide range of emotions, including an initial elation over passing the licensure exam and acquiring a staff position, as well as an unexpected grief due to losses associated with changes, such as loss of contact with school friends, as well as familiar routines, and faculty support. Discovering the new practice environment as well as nursing culture to be different from what was experienced at school results in "transition shock," prompting graduate nurses to learn new skills and engage in behavior adaptation by "acting like a nurse," focusing upon nursing skill acquisition, such as successful task performance and time management.

Read the rest of this blog post at The Leaders' Lounge.

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